A Case for the Eradication of Unmanned Mars Missions

Eugene Leitl (eugene.leitl@lrz.uni-muenchen.de)
Tue, 7 Dec 1999 11:04:38 -0800 (PST)

What's the point of sending canned monkeys to Mars?

  1. It prevents us from developing robust automation and in situ material processing
  2. It is orders of magnitude more expensive
  3. It is damn dangerous for the monkeys in question

I do not understand the whole business in question. If you absolutely positively have to have manned missions (I don't), why not the Moon? There is not much difference between 1/100 Earth atmosphere pressure or hard vacuum. Hard vacuum is even better for industrial processes. Insolation is much higher. And there is almost certainly water up there. And in a pinch you can mount a rescue mission. And and and...

Alintelbot@aol.com writes:
> The Human Imperative: A Case for the Eradication of Unmanned Mars Missions
> Part 1
> by Mac Tonnies
> The recent loss of the Mars Polar Lander, the second in a series of probes to
> fall victim to NASA's "faster, better, cheaper" mission philosophy, provides
> an excellent opportunity to reassess our commitment to Mars exploration. The
> "human imperative" advocates nothing less than a manned mission in place of
> all future robotic missions, preferably to begin as soon as possible.